McKinsey : accelerating product development the tools you need now
Publiée le samedi 30 juin

Between rising customer expectations and unpredictable moves by digital attackers, R&D organizations at incumbent companies are under intense pressure. They’re being asked not only to push out innovative products and services—which is key to ramping up organic growth—but also to support the formation of digital business modelsthat compete in new markets. Yet many R&D teams, particularly at companies that make industrial products, find themselves hampered by longstanding aspects of their approach, such as rigidly sequenced processes, strict divisions of responsibility among functions like engineering and marketing, or a narrow focus on internal innovation.


Some product-development teams have begun to overhaul the way they work as part of wider digital transformations at their companies. Those transformations can take a long time, though, as companies modernize their IT architectures, adopt new technologies, reorganize people, and learn agile ways of working. Since digital rivals aren’t waiting, product developers at incumbent companies need innovation accelerators that they can put to use almost immediately. But with a wide range of technologies and methods to choose from, where should they start?


In our experience helping incumbents update their R&D practices, four solutions stand out for their substantial benefits, as well as for their ease of integration with existing activities. With so-called digital twins of in-use products, R&D organizations can make sense of product data across the entire life cycle, thereby reaching new insights more quickly. Once incumbents identify promising concepts, they can shorten the product-development cycle by staging virtual reality (VR) hackathons. Some will need a jolt of inspiration to speed up the R&D process. In that case, they can try holding “pitch nights” to collect and sift through ideas from outside the company, or setting up in-house design studios, or “innovation garages,” to stimulate internal collaboration. Here, we explain how established companies are using these approaches, either singly or in various combinations, to develop winning products rapidly against threats posed by digital challengers.